The Best Free Antivirus Solutions

When it comes to viruses — and antivirus programs — the average computer user can’t really do much to defend against these threats. Antiviruses bundled with their computer usually don’t do much in terms of defense and act more intrusive than actual viruses would, with constant warnings and cues for the user to pay for an update.

It’s understandable, then, that users wishing to browse and download with no worries are seeking better options for their protection. However, a good amount of these better options are actually free — ready to see them?

AVG Free

AVG, or Anti-Virus Guard, is a free antivirus program developed by AVG Technologies, a company with a fairly fitting name considering their product line.

The Best Free Antivirus
AVG Logo

AVG offers the standard set of antivirus features, but if you’re only using the free version of their program, you’ll be hit near constantly with popup ads advising you to upgrade. In addition, the free version gets vital virus definition updates later than the premium — so an unlucky person could get hit with a virus that AVG protects against that AVG Free has yet to.

Avast Free Antivirus

avast! Free Antivirus is a free antivirus program developed by AVAST Software a. s., which, like the other companies on the list, has a name based on their premier product.

The Best Free Antivirus
Avast Logo

Avast, like AVG, features background scanning, automatic updates for virus definitions and such. Like AVG, Avast also has pop-ups, but these are only given whenever it updates or it blocks a virus that could’ve compromised your system. The settings for these notifications can be notified, and once you download the program, it’s free to use for a month. At the end of that month, you can make a free account with Avast and you’ll still be able to use it for another year — at the end of that year, however, you’ll have to make a new account to return to using Avast for free.

Avast for free obviously has its downside in comparison to its higher-tiered, paid-for brethren, but unlike AVG, it demonstrates more direct control for a free program and doesn’t withhold updates from you if you don’t want to give Avast money. The choice there is yours to make.

Avira Free Antivirus

The Best Free Antivirus
Avira Logo

Avira is developed by, well, Avira. Avira has the strongest foothold in the free antivirus market and offers all the same features as its free competitors — with no threats of subscriptions and begging for updates to paid versions.

Lined in a row, the antivirus programs aren’t too different when it comes to their main function of detecting viruses. However, the big differences become apparent with how the programs intrude on the user experience and treat their users — with this all in mind, Avira becomes the clear winner.

UPDATE

Anti-malware covers more than just viruses. Adware, spyware, rootkits and other malicious software can be on your PC without your knowledge. Here’s an article on the best free anti-malware solutions. Install one of these alongside your free antivirus application.

About

Steve Horton has been working with computers for over 20 years. He's dedicated to helping people get the most out of their PCs, and likes playing cards and writing comics.

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  • Tubinnath

    I really find only a few security software in this blog, According to my view there are a lot of security software that are better than this security softwares. In a recent AV test conducted between various security softwares based on protection, performance and usability Comodo the leading security software has topped the protection rate. Here is the link for the AV test : http://www.av-test.org/en/tests/home-user/windows-xp/marapr-2013

  • juan

    Though Comodo offers virus protection (not very powerful), its main product is a Firewall.

  • jabbajawz

    As a consultant, I have repaired many of PC due to virus infection. Almost ALL of those PC’s had AVG on them. I usually take off AVG and put Avast on. After that no more problems with viruses/ malware. Also, I have repaired PC’s where AVG breaks the network and starts acting like a virus itself and will not install with the installer. Then I have to go into safe mode, delete all the files and registry entries and then the network starts working. I never used AVIRA but between AVG/ AVAST, AVAST is the CLEAR winner.

    Why pay for antivirus when your ISP probably provides that same expensive Antivirus/ Network Threat protection for FREE?

  • http://about.me/calamarito_resis Andres Aguirre

    Avast free hasta el 2038

  • Phoebiann

    The first antivirus I used years ago was AVG. Then when I got a computer that couldn’t handle it for some reason, I used Avira. I liked that very well until they started pulling Ask toolbar marketing garbage through the software. I tried to get around it, but it became too much effort to protect myself from my antivirus. I went back to AVG. Unfortunately, AVG now has advertising pop-ups that cause computers to be vulnerable when less savvy users in the household are online. When they don’t know what to do or how to respond, they may well approve some kind of “upgrade”. I am now using Avast! which found 5 trojans upon installation that AVG was supposed to be protecting against. Anti-virus solutions are a real headache. I haven’t had Avast! running long, but immediately noticed it uses fewer resources.

  • http://www.teamkurosaki.com.mx Jorge Yokiro

    Sabía que era Avira, casi sin leer todo, porque yo me pasé del AVG Free al Avira, es bueno.

  • Norton-helpline.net

    Avira is the best antivirus which protect the computer to virus….

  • Miguel Angelo Lattanzio Mantil

    Avast crackeado detected!

  • Miguel Angelo Lattanzio Mantil

    and with free license until january 30, 2.017

    Avira Win!!! XD

  • joe64367

    You gotta watch these so called reviews. To see people touting AVG shows just how misinformed many are. AVG is MALWARE tucked into an anti virus program. Clever to say the least. It functions like a legitimate program. All the while, it hijacks your computer and does things that don’t see. And it does not like to be uninstalled. The AVG toolbar becomes hostile if you try to remove it. And I have caught it trying to reinstall the main program. At other times, I uninstalled the main program just to see all the program files still present on the drive after a restart. AVG is garbage-ware. And anyone who thinks differently doesn’t have a secured PC.

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